The Price of Housing in Louisiana

Over a third of Louisiana households rent their residences, and the cost of keeping a roof over their heads contributes to the economic insecurity in the lives of many workers. The latest statistics compiled by the National Low Income Housing Coalition show that more than a quarter of renter households in the state are considered “extremely low income.” In order to afford a two-bedroom apartment, a worker’s family must earn $15.27 per hour — or more than twice the current minimum wage.

The First State To Pass A $10.10 Minimum Wage

“Late Wednesday night, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017, passing 87 to 54 in the House and 21 to 14 in the Senate. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) says he will sign it into law on Thursday.

“That will not only make Connecticut the state with the highest minimum wage, but will also make it the first to pass a wage at the level currently being pushed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats. It will raise pay for 227,000 workers in the state, about 15 percent of its workforce.”

Read the full story here.

Louisiana and The Minimum Wage

Should Louisiana develop its own minimum wage?

“Louisiana is the third poorest state in the country behind Mississippi and New Mexico. It’s also one of five states that haven’t established their own minimum wage laws. The current federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 an hour. Twenty-one states already have minimum wages above the federal rate and six more states have pending legislation to raise theirs. At least four Louisiana lawmakers will be pushing to enact a state minimum wage this session, with one bill setting the rate at $10.10 per hour. So, should Louisiana develop its own minimum wage? And would such a move help the state’s working poor or ultimately hurt them through increased unemployment? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Louisiana & the Minimum Wage” airing Wednesday, March 26th at 7 p.m. on LPB HD. (Record date, Tuesday, March 25th.)”


Who Needs a Boss?

The NY Times reports that “historically, worker co-ops have held the most appeal when things seem most perilous for laborers. The present is no exception. And yet, despite their ability to empower workers, co-ops remain largely relegated to boutique status in the United States.

“In a worker co-op, the workers own the business and decide what to do with the profits (as opposed to consumer co-ops, which are typically stores owned by members who shop at a discount).”

Read more here about co-ops in the U.S., why they are gaining popularity, and why they are an effective model for fighting income inequality.